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Residents and businesses across Scilly, especially those who count on the tourism economy, are being encouraged to “pick up a bag and make a difference” during the third Great Scilly Spring Clean taking place tomorrow, Saturday 5th March and Sunday 6th March.

Beaches across our five inhabited islands are to be cleared of winter debris in readiness for the new season. This year is extra special as Scilly’s Spring Clean has been timed to coincide with the UK’s “Clean for the Queen” campaign, organised by Keep Britain Tidy, ahead of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations.

“The Great Scilly Spring Clean began in 2014 as a joint campaign by Scilly’s major stakeholders in response to the need to clean up the islands following the severe winter storms of 2013/2014. This winter has been no less challenging to our precious environment,” says David Jackson, Executive Director, Islands’ Partnership which is coordinating the effort together with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust. “Alongside our usual partners - Isles of Scilly Travel, The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Duchy of Cornwall and Tresco Island – we are delighted that the Scilly’s Women’s Institute is also getting involved.”

Each organisation is taking responsibility to lead a beach clean on at least one beach on St. Mary’s, with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust taking on the lion’s share of responsibilities. On the off islands, beach cleans are being coordinated by willing individuals – Anna Cawthray on St. Martins, Amanda Pender on Bryher, and Emma Eberlein on St. Agnes, whilst on Tresco, Dean Whillis is organising an island-wide tidy up.

“We’re also delighted that local businesses are supporting the clean by providing warming drinks and snacks for the volunteers. They include The Dairy Café, Old Town Café, The Wheelhouse, Sevenstones Inn, Fraggle Rock, the New Inn and Coastguard’s Café,” David adds.

“The Great Scilly Spring Clean is all about making sure that our beautiful islands live up to visitors’ expectations as an outstanding destination,” adds Sarah Mason, Chief Executive IOS Wildlife Trust. “Every inch of our islands is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and there is no better way than for the whole community to pull together to ensure our beaches are pristine for the start of the season, especially in this significant year which celebrates a very special birthday.”

Everyone wishing to take part is advised to wear sturdy shoes or wellies. They may also wish to bring gloves as these are not provided, although litter pickers will be on hand and rubbish bags will be provided.